Nat Gould

His life and books

William Bent 1764-1820

William Bent
Born: 1764
Died: 1820 Newcastle-under-Lyme
John Bent 1717-1796
James Justin Bent 1739-1812
John Bent
William Bent 1748-1761
William Bent 1764-1820
a sister
Sarah Gorton
John Bent 1793-
William Bent 1795-
Ann Bent 1795-1810
Thomas Bent 1797-
Rowland Bent 1798-1881
Frances Margaret Bent 1801-1888
Sarah Bent 1802-
Maria Bent 1806-1901
James Bent 1807-

William Bent was born in 1764 at Newcastle-inder-Lyme in Staffordshire, the son of John Bent 1717-1796.

On 31 July 1792 he married by licence Sarah Gorton of Salford at Manchester Collegiate Church (now the Cathedral). The ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Rowland Sandford, the Rector of St Ann's Church in Manchester. The witnesses were Richard Gorton and James Bulkeley. The bridegroom was then described as a gentleman of Stoke-upon-Trent in Staffordshire.

They had the following children, all born at Newcastle-under-Lyme:

John Bent. He was born in 1793.

William Bent. He was born on 25 January 1795.

Ann Bent. She was born in 1795 and died in 1810.

Thomas Bent. He was born on 30 March 1797.

Rowland Bent. He was born in 1798. On 26 May 1835 he married his first cousin Eliza Bent (1814-1906), daughter of Major James Bent (1) and they had the following children: Alfred Bent (born 1836), William Theodore Bent 1837-1890, Emily Bent (born 1839), Maria Louisa Bent (born 1840), Edward Bent (1843-1904), and Frederick Bent (1835-1886). Rowland Bent managed the family brewery business in Liverpool, and retired from there in 1855 (2). He died on 27 April 1881 in Abergavenny, Wales (3). His widow died in 1906 (4). His son William Theodore Benton married Emma Sophia Moilliet, daughter of James Moilliet of Abberley Hall in Worcestershire, on 2 May 1866 (5). His daughter Maria Louisa Bent was married to the Reverend James Elliot Grasett, Vicar of Allensmore in Herefordshire on 28 January 1868 (6). His youngest son Frederick Bent died on 8 November 1886 (7). His last surviving son Edward Bent died on 8 May 1904 (8).

Frances Margaret Bent. She was born in 1801 and died on 14 January 1888 in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Sarah Bent. She was born in 1802.

Maria Bent. She was born on 8 May 1806 and died on 9 December 1901 in Macclesfield.

James Bent. He was born on 22 December 1807.

The Bent family lived at Stoneyfields, a large house at the top of King Street in Newcastle purchased by William Bent in March 1801.

Their father William Bent died unexpectedly on 24 February 1820 aged 56 years. He was buried in St Giles' churchyard at Newcastle-under-Lyme on 2 March 1820, where there is a monumental inscription.

William Bent built a pottery in Newcastle in 1790 or 1791. However it did not prosper, and in 1797 the partnership of William Bent and James Bulkeley (who supplied the capital) was dissolved. William Bent converted the pottery into a brewery. This new venture was a great success. The brewing business was managed in partnership with James Caldwell (9), and eventually there were four breweries, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Shrewsbury, Macclesfield and Liverpool (10).

However by 1818 the business had begun to lose money. A £7,000 mortgage had been taken out in 1810 (10). After their father died in 1820, the Newcastle brewery was put up for auction in 1824 but failed to find a purchaser. It was let to tenants, and by 1836 had been sold to Messrs Rogers, Baker & Hindle. In 1823 the four sons of William Bent and James Caldwell sold shares in the Shrewsbury brewery and other property in the town to Richard Edensor Heathcote (11). After 1820 the sons of William Bent concentrated on the Liverpool and Macclesfield breweries, and in 1824 the Newcastle brewery was leased to Charles Cox & Co.It was offered for sale in 1828 (12). From 1832 it continued under various names until 1882. However Bent’s Brewery returned to north Staffordshire in the 1890’s when they took over Montgomery’s brewery in Stone. The Lymestone Brewery is now operating from the same site.


(1) "On Tuesday, at St. Werburgh's Church, Derby, Rowland Bent, Esq. of Pendleton, Manchester, to Elizabeth, only daughter of the late Major Bent, of H.M. 20th Regiment." Staffordshire Advertiser 30 May 1835. Also reported in the Limerick Chronicle 10 June 1835 and the Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette 13 June 1835. The bride was usually called Eliza.

(2) Liverpool Mercury 17 February 1855.

(3) "DEATHS ...BENT.— April 27, at Colbrook Park, Monmouthshire, Rowland Bent, Esq." London Evening Standard 29 April 1881.

(4) "DEATHS. BENT-June 3rd, at Athelstan Hall, Hereford, Eliza Bent, widow of the late Rowland Bent, and only daughter of the late Major James Bent, 20th Regiment." London Evening Standard 7 June 1906. Also reported in the Bedfordshire Mercury 15 June 1906.

(5) "MARRIAGES ... May 2nd, at Abberley, by the Rev. Chas. Smith, rector of Newton, Suffolk, assisted by the Rev. G. Hesketh Biggs, Wm. Theodore, eldest son of Rowland Bent, Esq., of Hanley Court, in this county, to Emma Sophia, third daughter of James Moilliet, Esq., of Abberley Hall, in this county." Worcestershire Chronicle 9 May 1866. Also reported in the Worcester Journal 12 May 1866.

(6) "MARRIAGES. GRASETT-BFNT- On the 28th Jan.,at Hanley William Church, by the Rev. Lewis Moilliet, Rector of Abberley, assisted by the Rev. Phipps Onslow, Rector of Upper Sassey, the Rev.James Elliot Grasett, Vicar of Allensmore, Herefordshire, to Maria Louisa Bent, youngest daughter of Rowland Bent, Esq., Hanley Court, Worcestershire." Pall Mall Gazette3 February 1868.

(7) "DEATHS ...BENT.-On the 8th inst., at Coldbrook Park, near Abergavenny, Frederick, youngest son of the late Rowland Bent, of Coldbrook Park." Manchester Times 13 November 1886.

(8) "DEATHS ... BENT.— May his residence 'Fern Dale', King’s Acre, Herefordshire, aged 61. Edward, only surviving son of the late Rowland Bent,of Coldlbrook Park, Abergavenny, and of Mrs. Bent, of Athelstan Hall, Hereford. Funeral at Allensmore, Herefordshire. To-day (Wednesday) at 3.0 p.m. London Evening Standard 11 May 1904.

(9) The brewery business features in James Caldwell's diaries and it would appear that James Caldwell and William Bent were close friends.

(10) 25 December 1810 Mortgage by William Bent, Sir John Edensor Heathcote and James Caldwell from Elizabeth Gresley and Frances Gresley of Longton in consideration of a loan of £7,000 for a "Piece of land with buildings, in Coleham, Shrewsbury, in the parish of St. Julian's, called Coney Green (6a 3p) ... with the houses, outhouses, brewhouses, malthouses, warehouses, erections and buildings on the same, for 500 years." Endorsed on 25 March 1823 with a Memorandum "that the premises by lease and release of 24 & 25 March 1823 were conveyed to Richard E. Heathcote, eldest son and heir of Sir John E. Heathcote subject to the mortgage and a release has been made to the executors of William Bent and to James Caldwell of all claim on them." and on that "Three of the fifths of the premises were conveyed by Richard E. Heathcote to John Heathcote, Charles Bowyer Heathcote and Henry Fitzjohn by indenture of 31 December 1823". Shropshire Archives reference 4762/3/1. Elizabeth Gresley 1756-1839 and Frances Gresley 1757-1836 were the sisters-in-law of Sir John Edensor Heathcote, who married Anne Gresley 1755-1797, all daughters of Sir Nigel Gresley 1726-1787. The mortgage was assigned on 25 July 1826 for £500 to Charles Hassells and Thomas Ward, executors of Elizabeth Griffin. Shropshire Archives reference 4762/3/5.

(11) Sale by Lease and Release dated respectively 24 and 25 March 1823 by John, William, Thomas, Rowland and James Bent, devisees of the late William Bent, and James Caldwell to Richard Edensor Heathcote, Esq. of "three fifth shares of the Shrewsbury Brewery buildings and lands, namely Coney Green formerly, with other land adjoining, sold by Sir John E. Heathcote, deceased, William Bent deceased, and James Caldwell to Charles Bage, Esq. (formerly in the tenure of Margaret Palin and others, now of Richard Edensor Heathcote) and plots used as gardens near the Coney Green, and a messuage, outhouses, brewhouses, malthouses, warehouses and appurtenances lately erected on the first piece." Shropshire Archives reference 4762/3/2-3.

(12) Staffordshire Advertiser 9 August and 13 September 1828.